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Cook tax delay no April Fools’ prank

Monday, January 31, 2011
Daily Herald
by Ted Cox

Cook County first-installment property-tax bills are now being mailed out with a due date a month late on April 1 — and that’s no April Fools’ joke.

Treasurer Maria Pappas announced Monday that her office is now mailing out 1.7 million bills with a special one-time-only delayed deadline. For the first time, it will give Cook County property owners 60 days to pay their bills.

First-installment tax bills are usually due March 1. Yet the General Assembly voted to push them back a month this year, to give homeowners a break after second-installment tax bills ran late with a due date of Dec. 13 last year.

The first-installment payment deadline will revert to March 1 in years to come unless some other hitch in the system forces the legislature to act.

According to Pappas’ office, the first-installment bills will be worth 55 percent of the total tax paid on a property last year. Any increases or decreases in assessments this year will be accounted for in the second installment.

The North and Northwest suburbs are being reassessed this year. Assessor Joseph Berrios’ office has already sent out notices to Hanover and Schaumburg Townships, with the deadline to file an appeal with his office set for Feb. 10 for Hanover and Feb. 22 for Schaumburg.

Payments can be made electronically at the website, at about 400 Chase Bank outlets, or through personal accounts at more than 200 participating community banks. Property owners can also check their bills online and make sure the proper exemptions have been filed at the treasurer’s website.

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